If New Zealand had done it quietly instead of boastfully there might have been a different outcome.
The Chinese can be quite mischievous in their reactions to politically-motivated offensive acts. There could be hell 'toupee'.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/New-Zea ... ontent=RSS
New Zealand tourism faces Huawei backlash from China
Wellington's 5G snub puts the economy at risk, experts say
FUMI MATSUMOTO and NIKKI SUN, Nikkei staff writers
FEBRUARY 16, 2019 14:00 JST
China is the largest export market and second largest source of foreign tourists for New Zealand. © Reuters
SYDNEY/HONG KONG -- New Zealand has felt the wrath of China, its largest export market and second largest source of foreign tourists, with many scholars calling it a backlash for the South Pacific country's snubbing of Huawei Technologies.
Earlier this week Beijing abruptly announced it had postponed a tourism event scheduled for next week in Wellington. Although the event, meant to usher in a "year of tourism," had been in the works for years, Beijing cited a scheduling snafu for the postponement.
The announcement pricked the attention of New Zealand, which received almost 350,000 Chinese holidaymakers in the year through this past October, an 11.7% increase from the previous 12 months, according to Tourism New Zealand. The rate of increase is higher than that for tourists from any other country.
New Zealand's tourism industry is "poised to take a large financial loss," says a report published this week in the Global Times, a tabloid that is part of the People's Daily media group, a Chinese Communist Party organ. "New Zealand's strained political relationship with China -- following the ban of Huawei from building part of its 5G networks -- is costing the country more than it can afford."
The article cites "widespread" complaints among Chinese netizens over Wellington's Huawei decision.
The tabloid, known for promoting Chinese nationalism, quoted an outraged Beijing tourist who canceled his 15,000-yuan ($2,200) trip to New Zealand. "Is it a kind of robbery? New Zealand stabbed us in the back but asks for our money?"
International tourism contributed 17.4% to New Zealand's total goods and services exports, according to official statistics in 2016. The sector directly employs 7.5% of the New Zealand workforce, and China is the country's second largest source of tourists, after Australia.
"Tourism could have an imminent impact," said Yuan Jingdong, an associate professor at the University of Sydney who specializes in Chinese defense and foreign policy. This impact will not only hit tourism, he said, but other sectors will likely have some time before they are affected.
The postponement of the tourism show and other little-explained happenings are "clearly expressions of deep annoyance in Beijing about Wellington's growing China wariness and more public criticism of Chinese policy," Yuan said.
He added that New Zealand's decision to cancel Huawei's participation in the country's 5G network is seen as a "direct rebuke of China," seriously harming China's economic interests and tarnishing Huawei's reputation.
"The irony of all of this," Yuan said, "is New Zealand, like Canada, has been one of the few Western countries that have adopted an open and friendly attitude toward [China], hoping that economic interactions and people-to-people contacts help narrow, not widen, the gap between the [countries]."
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, center, celebrates Chinese Near Year on Feb. 2 in Auckland, before China postponed a "year of tourism" event. © China News Service/VCG via Getty Images
While Chinese tourists can be an important source of revenue for the countries they visit, they also sometimes act in accordance with Chinese foreign policy.
About three years ago, after Taiwanese voters replaced a president who was friendly toward China with an independent-minded leader, the number of Chinese tourists to the island dropped precipitously. South Korea suffered a similar falloff after it deployed U.S. antimissile batteries equipped with radar capable of peering into Chinese airspace.
It was late November when New Zealand at least temporarily blocked Huawei from selling next-generation 5G technology to a cellphone service provider in the country.
The little-explained events began shortly thereafter. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was scheduled to visit China late last year, but Beijing called off the trip.
Last weekend, more than four hours into its journey to Shanghai, an Air New Zealand flight made a U-turn and returned to Auckland. The flag carrier said improper paperwork was to blame; news reports have cited the airliner's references to Taipei, the capital of what China regards as a renegade province.
Other New Zealand industries also have exposure to China, the largest buyer of the country's goods. According to New Zealand government data, the value of exports to China, mostly dairy products and timber, came to 15.3 billion New Zealand dollars (US$10.44 billion) in the year through last March.